I am wanting to purchase a C350 and there are several in the area (Nor-Cal) for sale. Some are wing and some fin. So my question is - has anyone sailed both and could you tell the difference? Or better yet has anyone been sailing a fin or wing next to each other and noticed the difference in pointing ability?
Also, when I run the calculations for motion comfort the wing rates better (wing-38 vs fin-35)? I think its just the additional ballast for the wing.
This isn't the end all be all for me...just curious.
I have a wing keel but haven't sailed the fin. The owners I know who have a C350 with wing either planned to sail in shallow waters, or fitted it post purchase because they did sail in shallow waters and found problems with the deep keel. If I had a deep keel I could only use about half of the lake system that I currently sail in.
Anecdotally people I have asked have said that the wing keel sails nearly as well as the deep keel but it can't really can it? Anyone who was a really keen racer would presumably go with the deep keel. All I can say is that for coastal ocean sailing the wing keel provides excellent stability and is a great compromise if not optimum for going to windward (but then how often does a cruising yacht go to windward for extended periods?).
P.S. Avalon was delivered with a deep keel which was swapped for a wing after about 3 years with the keel of an owner who had bought a wing keel but only used his boat for racing.
I probably would like the wing. Especially for the California Delta which will be a likely cruising destination for us.
Just wondering if the fin was less sea-kindly... as the weight is less. Or the center of mass/gravity/effort is lower so the weight becomes irrelevant. ???
As for weight v.s. depth etc. here's my take :
The fin is lighter, but the center of mass, is lower, thus the righting moment is the same as with the wing.
The fin has more lateral surface than the wing, thus the amount of leeway made will be less than the wing. Ultimately this might mean that you will actually travel ( COG ) closer to the wind with the fin than you would with the wing. Less "slippage" downwind.
Catalina's designers had to satisfy safety rules and I have to believe that the two keels are pretty darn equal except for leeway.
So, it boils down to where you sail and how high you want to climb when you're on the hard.